The influence of built environment features on crowdsourced physiological responses of pedestrians in neighborhoods Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2019 Elsevier Ltd With the growth of interest in walkable neighborhoods, various efforts have been made to investigate to determine what kinds of built environment features induce physical and physiological discomfort in pedestrians in a neighborhood. Traditional evaluation approaches primarily rely on opinion surveys and field observation (e.g., neighborhood surveys and visual inspection) completed by pedestrians and trained auditors respectively, both of which require considerable time and funding. Additionally, visual audit and opinion survey methods are not free from subjectivity concerns. In this paper, we propose and test a novel approach to assess conditions of walkable environment by using body responses. The paper utilizes crowdsourced physiological data from pedestrians (e.g., gait stability, gait acceleration, and relative heart rate) to examine the interaction between built environment features and pedestrians' physical activities in a neighborhood. In an experiment conducted in Havelock neighborhood of Lincoln, Nebraska, subjects were asked to walk a pre-defined path of 1.26 km while bearing a wearable inertial measurement units (IMU) sensor, a wristband-type wearable device, and a smartphone. Additionally, subjects were asked to provide a subjective assessment of subsegments on a scale of 0 to 10. With these data, we investigate the relationship between physiological responses and the existing built environment features encountered by subjects. Our findings indicate that physiological response has a statistically significant relationship with built environment features and subjective ratings. The outcomes of the research will help improve the evaluation methods of built environment features and will promote neighborhood walkability.

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Kim, J., Ahn, C. R., & Nam, Y.

citation count

  • 12

publication date

  • May 2019